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1.  Acceleration of periosteal bone formation by human basic fibroblast growth factor containing a collagen-binding domain from Clostridium histolyticum collagenase 
Basic fibroblast growth factor 2 (bFGF) is a potent mitogen for mesenchymal cells, and the local application of recombinant bFGF accelerates bone union and defect repair. However, repeated dosing is required for sustained therapeutic effect as the efficacy of bFGF decreases rapidly following its diffusion from bone defect sites. Here, we attempted to develop a collagen-based bone formation system using a fusion protein (collagen binding-bFGF, CB-bFGF) consisting of bFGF and the collagen-binding domain (CBD) of Clostridium histolyticum collagenase. The addition of the CBD to bFGF did not modify its native biological activity, as shown by the capacity of the fusion protein to promote the in vitro proliferation of periosteal mesenchymal cells. The affinity of the fusion protein towards collagen and demineralized bone matrix (DBM) was also confirmed by collagen-binding assays. Moreover, in vivo periosteal bone formation assays showed that the combination of CB-bFGF with a collagen sheet induced periosteal bone formation at protein concentrations lower than those required for bFGF alone. In addition, grafts of DBM loaded with CB-bFGF accelerated new bone formation in rat femurs compared to the same concentration of bFGF administered alone. Taken together, these properties suggest that the CB-bFGF/collagen composite is a promising material for bone repair in the clinical setting. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 102A: 1737–1743, 2014.
PMCID: PMC4232007  PMID: 23775724
basic fibroblast growth factor; bone tissue engineering; bone repair; collagen; collagen-binding domain
2.  Characterization of d-boroAla as a Novel Broad Spectrum Antibacterial Agent Targeting d-Ala-d-Ala Ligase 
Chemical biology & drug design  2011;78(5):757-763.
d-boroAla was previously characterized as an inhibitor of bacterial alanine racemase and d-Ala-d-Ala ligase enzymes [Duncan, K., et al Biochemistry 1989, 28:3541–9]. In the present study, d-boroAla was identified and characterized as an antibacterial agent. d-boroAla has activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms, with MICs down to 8 µg/mL. A structure-function study on the alkyl side chain (NH2-CHR-B(OR’)2) revealed that d-boroAla is the most effective agent in a series including boroGly, d-boroHomoAla, and d-boroVal. l-boroAla was much less active, and N-acetylation completely abolished activity. An LC-MS/MS assay was used to demonstrate that d-boroAla exerts its antibacterial activity by inhibition of d-Ala-d-Ala ligase (DDL). d-boroAla is bactericidal at 1× MIC against Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis – which each encode one copy of DDL, and at 4× MIC against Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium – which each encode two copies of DDL. d-boroAla demonstrated a frequency of resistance of 8×10−8 at 4× MIC in S. aureus. These results demonstrate that d-boroAla has promising antibacterial activity, and could serve as the lead agent in a new class of DDL targeted antibacterial agents. This study also demonstrates d-boroAla as a possible probe for DDL function.
PMCID: PMC3193593  PMID: 21827632
antibacterial; cell wall; alanine branch; broad spectrum; d-Ala-d-Ala ligase
3.  In vitro activity of cethromycin against Burkholderia pseudomallei and investigation of mechanism of resistance 
Most Burkholderia pseudomallei strains are intrinsically resistant to macrolides, mainly due to AmrAB-OprA- and/or BpeAB-OprB-mediated efflux. We assessed the in vitro anti-B. pseudomallei efficacy of cethromycin, a novel ketolide with broad-spectrum activity against Gram-negative and Gram-positive pathogens.
The 2-fold broth microdilution technique was used to assess the in vitro cethromycin susceptibility of a prototype strain, efflux mutants, and a panel of 60 clinical and environmental strains. Time–kill curves were used to assess the mode of action. Spontaneous resistant mutants were isolated and AmrAB-OprA efflux pump expression assessed by quantitative real-time PCR. Deletion and complementation analyses were performed to demonstrate AmrAB-OprA efflux pump mutant involvement in high-level cethromycin resistance.
In contrast to macrolides, cethromycin was a weak substrate of AmrAB-OprA and BpeAB-OprB. Cethromycin was bactericidal at high concentrations and bacteriostatic at MIC levels. The ketolide showed efficacy against clinical and environmental strains of B. pseudomallei, with MIC values ranging from 4 to 64 mg/L. Environmental isolates were consistently more susceptible than clinical isolates. High-level cethromycin resistance (MIC 128 mg/L) was due to constitutive AmrAB-OprA efflux pump overexpression, but other mechanisms also seem to contribute.
In contrast to macrolides, which are readily effluxed, cethromycin is weakly extruded in wild-type strains and thus demonstrates significant in vitro anti-B. pseudomallei activity against diverse strains. Acquired high-level cethromycin resistance is caused by constitutive AmrAB-OprA efflux pump overexpression and other, probably non-efflux, mechanisms may also contribute to lower-level acquired resistance.
PMCID: PMC3001848  PMID: 20965890
melioidosis; therapy; ketolides; efflux
4.  In vitro activity of BAL30072 against Burkholderia pseudomallei 
Burkholderia pseudomallei is an intrinsically antibiotic-resistant Category B priority pathogen and the aetiological agent of melioidosis. Treatment of B. pseudomallei infection is biphasic and lengthy in order to combat the acute and chronic phases of the disease. Acute-phase treatment preferably involves an intravenous cephalosporin (ceftazidime) or a carbapenem (imipenem or meropenem). In this study, the anti-B. pseudomallei efficacy of a new monosulfactam, BAL30072, was tested against laboratory strains 1026b and 1710b and several isogenic mutant derivatives as well as a collection of clinical and environmental B. pseudomallei strains from Thailand. More than 93% of the isolates had minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) in the range 0.004–0.016 μg/mL. For the laboratory strain 1026b, the MIC of BAL30072 was 0.008 μg/mL, comparable with the MICs of 1.5 μg/mL for ceftazidime, 0.5 μg/mL for imipenem and 1 μg/mL for meropenem. Time–kill curves revealed that BAL30072 was rapidly bactericidal, killing >99% of bacteria in 2 h. BAL30072 activity was not significantly affected by efflux, it was only a marginal substrate of PenA β-lactamase, and activity was independent of malleobactin production and transport and the ability to transport pyochelin. In summary, BAL30072 has superior in vitro activity against B. pseudomallei compared with ceftazidime, meropenem or imipenem and it is rapidly bactericidal.
PMCID: PMC3124586  PMID: 21596528
Burkholderia pseudomallei; Melioidosis; Therapy; Monosulfactam; Efflux; Siderophore
5.  The BpeAB-OprB Efflux Pump of Burkholderia pseudomallei 1026b Does Not Play a Role in Quorum Sensing, Virulence Factor Production, or Extrusion of Aminoglycosides but Is a Broad-Spectrum Drug Efflux System ▿  
Most Burkholderia pseudomallei strains are intrinsically aminoglycoside resistant, mainly due to AmrAB-OprA-mediated efflux. Rare naturally occurring or genetically engineered mutants lacking this pump are aminoglycoside susceptible despite the fact that they also encode and express BpeAB-OprB, which was reported to mediate efflux of aminoglycosides in the Singapore strain KHW. To reassess the role of BpeAB-OprB in B. pseudomallei aminoglycoside resistance, we used mutants overexpressing or lacking this pump in either AmrAB-OprA-proficient or -deficient strain 1026b backgrounds. Our data show that BpeAB-OprB does not mediate efflux of aminoglycosides but is a multidrug efflux system which extrudes macrolides, fluoroquinolones, tetracyclines, acriflavine, and, to a lesser extent, chloramphenicol. Phylogenetically, BpeAB-OprB is closely related to Pseudomonas aeruginosa MexAB-OprM, which has a similar substrate spectrum. AmrAB-OprA is most closely related to MexXY, the only P. aeruginosa efflux pump known to extrude aminoglycosides. Since BpeAB-OprB in strain KHW was also implicated in playing a major role in export of acylated homoserine lactone (AHL) quorum-sensing molecules and in expression of diverse virulence factors, we explored whether this was also true in the strain 1026b background. The results showed that BpeAB-OprB was not required for AHL export, and mutants lacking this efflux system exhibited normal swimming motility and siderophore production, which were severely impaired in KHW bpeAB-oprB mutants. Biofilm formation was impaired in 1026b Δ(amrRAB-oprA) and Δ(amrRAB-oprA) Δ(bpeAB-oprB) mutants. At present, we do not know why our BpeAB-OprB susceptibility and virulence factor expression results with 1026b and its derivatives are different from those previously published for Singapore strain KHW.
PMCID: PMC2916348  PMID: 20498323
6.  A Burkholderia pseudomallei ΔpurM Mutant Is Avirulent in Immunocompetent and Immunodeficient Animals: Candidate Strain for Exclusion from Select-Agent Lists▿  
Infection and Immunity  2010;78(7):3136-3143.
Burkholderia pseudomallei causes the disease melioidosis in humans and is classified as a category B select agent. Research utilizing this pathogen is highly regulated in the United States, and even basic studies must be conducted in biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) facilities. There is currently no attenuated B. pseudomallei strain available that is excluded from select-agent regulations and can be safely handled at BSL-2 facilities. To address this need, we created Bp82 and Bp190, which are ΔpurM derivatives of B. pseudomallei strains 1026b and K96243 that are deficient in adenine and thiamine biosynthesis but replication competent in vitro in rich medium. A series of animal challenge studies was conducted to ensure that these strains were fully attenuated. Whereas the parental strains 1026b and K96243 and the complemented mutants Bp410 and Bp454 were virulent in BALB/c mice following intranasal inoculation, the ΔpurM mutants Bp82 and Bp190 were avirulent even when they were administered at doses 4 logs higher than the doses used for the parental strains. Animals challenged with high doses of the ΔpurM mutants rapidly cleared the bacterium from tissues (lung, liver, and spleen) and remained free of culturable bacteria for the duration of the experiments (up to 60 days postinfection). Moreover, highly susceptible 129/SvEv mice and immune incompetent mice (IFN-γ−/−, SCID) were resistant to challenges with ΔpurM mutant Bp82. This strain was also avirulent in the Syrian hamster challenge model. We concluded that ΔpurM mutant Bp82 is fully attenuated and safe for use under BSL-2 laboratory conditions and thus is a candidate for exclusion from the select-agent list.
PMCID: PMC2897367  PMID: 20404077
7.  PBAD-Based Shuttle Vectors for Functional Analysis of Toxic and Highly Regulated Genes in Pseudomonas and Burkholderia spp. and Other Bacteria▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2008;74(23):7422-7426.
We report the construction of a series of Escherichia-Pseudomonas broad-host-range expression vectors utilizing the PBAD promoter and the araC regulator for routine cloning, conditional expression, and analysis of tightly controlled and/or toxic genes in pseudomonads.
PMCID: PMC2592904  PMID: 18849445
9.  Genetic Tools for Select-Agent-Compliant Manipulation of Burkholderia pseudomallei▿  
Because of Burkholderia pseudomallei's classification as a select agent in the United States, genetic manipulation of this bacterium is strictly regulated. Only a few antibiotic selection markers, including gentamicin, kanamycin, and zeocin, are currently approved for use with this bacterium, but wild-type strains are highly resistant to these antibiotics. To facilitate routine genetic manipulations of wild-type strains, several new tools were developed. A temperature-sensitive pRO1600 broad-host-range replicon was isolated and used to construct curable plasmids where the Flp and Cre recombinase genes are expressed from the rhamnose-regulated Escherichia coli PBAD promoter and kanamycin (nptI) and zeocin (ble) selection markers from the constitutive Burkholderia thailandensis ribosomal PS12 or synthetic bacterial PEM7 promoter. Flp and Cre site-specific recombination systems allow in vivo excision and recycling of nptII and ble selection markers contained on FRT or loxP cassettes. Finally, expression of Tn7 site-specific transposase from the constitutive P1 integron promoter allowed development of an efficient site-specific chromosomal integration system for B. pseudomallei. In conjunction with a natural transformation method, the utility of these new tools was demonstrated by isolating an unmarked Δ(amrRAB-oprA) efflux pump mutant. Exploiting natural transformation, chromosomal DNA fragments carrying this mutation marked with zeocin resistance were transferred between the genomes of two different B. pseudomallei strains. Lastly, the deletion mutation was complemented by a chromosomally integrated mini-Tn7 element carrying the amrAB-oprA operon. The new tools allow routine select-agent-compliant genetic manipulations of B. pseudomallei and other Burkholderia species.
PMCID: PMC2258562  PMID: 18156318
10.  Identification and Characterization of TriABC-OpmH, a Triclosan Efflux Pump of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Requiring Two Membrane Fusion Proteins▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2007;189(21):7600-7609.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa achieves high-level (MIC > 1 mg/ml) triclosan resistance either by constitutive expression of MexAB-OprM, an efflux pump of the resistance nodulation cell division (RND) family, or expression of MexCD-OprJ, MexEF-OprN, and MexJK-OpmH in regulatory mutants. A triclosan-resistant target enzyme and perhaps other mechanisms probably act synergistically with efflux. To probe this notion, we exposed the susceptible Δ(mexAB-oprM) Δ(mexCD-oprJ) Δ(mexEF-oprN) Δ(mexJK) Δ(mexXY) strain PAO509 to increasing triclosan concentrations and derived a resistant strain, PAO509.5. This mutant overexpressed the PA0156-PA0157-PA0158 pump, which only effluxed triclosan, but not closely related compounds, antibiotics, and divalent cations, and was therefore renamed TriABC. Constitutive expression of the triABC operon was due to a single promoter-up mutation. Deletion of two adjacent genes, pcaR and PA0159, encoding transcriptional regulators had no effect on expression of this operon. TriABC is the only P. aeruginosa RND pump which contains two membrane fusion proteins, TriA and TriB, and both are required for efflux pump function. Probably owing to tight transcriptional coupling of the triABC genes, complementation of individual mutations was only partially achievable. Full complementation was only observed when a complete triABC operon was provided in trans, either in single or multiple copies. TriABC associated with OpmH, but not OprM, for assembly of a functional triclosan efflux pump. TriABC is the fifth RND pump in P. aeruginosa shown to efficiently efflux triclosan, supporting the notion that efflux is the primary mechanism responsible for this bacterium's high intrinsic and acquired triclosan resistance.
PMCID: PMC2168734  PMID: 17720796
11.  An H+-Coupled Multidrug Efflux Pump, PmpM, a Member of the MATE Family of Transporters, from Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
Journal of Bacteriology  2004;186(1):262-265.
We cloned the gene PA1361 (we designated the gene pmpM), which seemed to encode a multidrug efflux pump belonging to the MATE family, of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by the PCR method using the drug-hypersensitive Escherichia coli KAM32 strain as a host. Cells of E. coli possessing the pmpM gene showed elevated resistance to several antimicrobial agents. We observed energy-dependent efflux of ethidium from cells possessing the pmpM gene. We found that PmpM is an H+-drug antiporter, and this finding is the first reported case of an H+-coupled efflux pump in the MATE family. Disruption and reintroduction of the pmpM gene in P. aeruginosa revealed that PmpM is functional and that benzalkonium chloride, fluoroquinolones, ethidium bromide, acriflavine, and tetraphenylphosphonium chloride are substrates for PmpM in this microorganism.
PMCID: PMC303449  PMID: 14679249
12.  Functional Cloning and Characterization of a Multidrug Efflux Pump, MexHI-OpmD, from a Pseudomonas aeruginosa Mutant 
We isolated mutant YM644, which showed elevated resistance to norfloxacin, ethidium bromide, acriflavine, and rhodamine 6G, from Pseudomonas aeruginosa YM64, a strain that lacks four major multidrug efflux pumps. The genes responsible for the resistance were mexHI-opmD. Elevated ethidium extrusion was observed with cells of YM644 and YM64 harboring a plasmid carrying the genes. Disruption of the genes in the chromosomal DNA of YM644 made the cells sensitive to the drugs.
PMCID: PMC182609  PMID: 12937010

Results 1-12 (12)